Six of Crows author Leigh Bardugo reveals who she would want in her heist crew
If you’re not familiar with author Leigh Bardugo, well, you need to. She’s the NY Times bestselling author of fantasy novel series The Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising), which Dreamworks has optioned the film rights of.
And today, the first book of her duology series, Six of Crows, has been released. This follow up to the Grisha trilogy has already received starred reviews from Voya, Publisher’s Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews. And tomorrow, she’ll be starting a month and a half long Magic & Mayhem book tour, including the Fierce Reads Fall Tour (with fellow YA authors Emma Mills, Josephine Angelini, and Leila Sales), that will take her throughout the U.S. and the U.K.
Because of all that, I’m happy to say that we got to interview this amazing writer and ask her all about Six of Crows, which we love and we know you’ll love, too. See what she has to say about the book and the characters, and especially who she’d want on her own heist crew.
What inspired you to write about an ensemble cast of misfits on a heist?
If you’ve read the Grisha Trilogy, you know it’s very much a “chosen one” narrative, and I wanted to take a big step away from that. The kids in Kaz’s crew aren’t trying to start a revolution, they don’t have grand destinies, and they aren’t kings or queens or secret princesses. Some of them are very smart or very skilled, but at the end of the day, they’re just six kids desperate enough to attempt the impossible.
Which character POV was the most fun to write? Which was the most challenging?
I loved writing Matthias. He’s just so intense about everything—always with the drama! I seriously think it must be exhausting for him. Kaz’s POV was probably the toughest because he goes the darkest places and because I had to research some very gross stuff for his point of view.
Other than The Crow Club, was there any significance in using “crows” for the book title and/or your group of misfits?
Crows are scavengers. They take the leavings. They settle for the dregs. And they remember human faces. They’re the only birds that hold a grudge.
If you could have the skills of any member in the crew, whose would you choose and why?
Probably Inej. She’s a Suli acrobat who can move so silently people call her the Wraith. I, on the other hand, regularly bump into furniture and fall off of bicycles. I stepped on my glasses the other day—while I was looking for my glasses. In scientific circles, that is known as Velma-ing.
There’s a backstory for each of the six characters. Which one excited you the most as you developed it?
I could write Nina and Matthias banter all day long. They’ve been taught to hate and fear each other, but Nina’s not about taking the easy road. It’s like she was set on this earth to fluster Matthias.
There’s lots of twists and reveals throughout the book. What’s the secret to keeping track of which characters know what information at any given moment?
The process is a little like trying to put together a puzzle when you haven’t seen the picture on the front of the box. I outline. I plan. But you’ve got to put it on the page and see what works. Reveals moved. Flashbacks moved. My whiteboard got put through the paces. Also, Scrivener was a huge help because it allowed me to color code my chapters and flag the locations of flashbacks.
If you had to assemble a heist crew of your own made up of imaginative YA authors, who would you choose and why?
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff write science fiction with actual physics and artificial intelligence in it, so I’m putting them in charge of tech. Marie Lu and Victoria Schwab write delicious villains so they’re devious enough to tackle planning. I’m bringing Robin LaFevers in for her knowledge of poisons. Gretchen McNeil knows how to rack up a bodycount and Sarah Rees Brennan is notoriously bloodthirsty, so they’re the muscle. Laini Taylor would distract marks with her adorable pinterest boards. You’d be like “Aw! Crocheted zoo animals!” and then BOOM—you’re lying on the ground with nothing in your wallet and a shiv in your side. And of course, Maggie Stiefvater drives the getaway car.
As you can tell, Leigh Bardugo is not only a wonderful writer, but she is both downright hilarious and mischievous. And we love her! We definitely recommend getting her book and seeing her on tour to meet this fantastic person.
Next page» Meet the characters of Six of Crows